This lot relates to the picture of c.1746 in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Several portraits of Sir Charles Hanbury Williams by Eccardt have been recorded. In all the known portraits of this type, except the one in the NPG, the paper in the sitter's hand is inscribed as appears here, with the title of Williams' verses on the Duchess of Manchester. They appeared in 1740 and alluded unflatteringly to her marriage to Edward Hussey.
The son of John Hanbury, a Welsh ironmaster, Charles assumed the name of Williams on succeeding to the estate of his godfather Charles Williams, in 1720. He entered Parliament as an MP in 1735 where he became a member of Robert Walpole's circle. Williams remained faithful to Walpole, his friend Henry Fox, and the Whigs throughout his career. Although he spoke little in parliament, he advanced his party's cause as a writer of satire. He became a prolific satiric poet, often attacking members of the Whig opposition. He was appointed as envoy to the court of Dresden, (1747, 1751, 1754), to Berlin, (1750), to Vienna, (1753), and St Petersburg, (1755). Williams took his own life in 1759.